Fort Hood soldiers host CBRN rodeo to increase preparedness

Soldiers with the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Warriors hosted a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear rodeo for hundreds of soldiers at the Killeen, Texas-based Fort Hood between February 11 and February 13.

During the event, soldiers were required to complete multiple stations to confirm their CBRN equipment confidence and demonstrate their ability to react effectively in contaminated environments, the Fort Hood Sentinel reports.

"We're building soldiers confidence today," Capt. Courtney Zimmerman, a chemical brigade officer with the 615th Aviation Support Battalion, said, according to the Fort Hood Sentinel. "Soldiers will learn the processes and procedures for their (Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology), while also gaining trust that it will keep them safe in a chemical environment."

Stations included decontamination using DECON kits, marking CBRN contaminated areas, protecting from CBRN injury using an assigned mask and reacting to chemical or biological hazards and attacks.

"Today's event is beneficial in many ways," Zimmerman said, according to the Fort Hood Sentinel. "Soldiers often forget how serious chemical attacks are, as they seldom have the opportunity to receive in-depth CBRN training. This rodeo assists to not only sharpen their skills, but also the skills of our CBRN specialists running the event."

Sgt. Darius Fletcher, a CBRN specialist, said that the training helped to validate his skill set and increase the confidence of the soldiers within the 1st ACB.

"These soldiers now know what CS gas feels like," Fletcher said, according to the Fort Hood Sentinel. "They'll know what to expect and will be ready to don their mask in the allotted eight to nine seconds if they enter a contaminated environment. We need more training like this."